The first UEFA European Champions Cup took place in 1955-56 with Spain’s Real Madrid beating Stade de Reims of France 4-3 in the Final in Paris. The South American Copa Libertadores was first held in 1960 and Uruguay’s Peñarol beat Olimpia of Paraguay 2-1 over two legs.
Pierre Delauney, UEFA secretary and José Ramón de Freitas, CONMEBOL secretary decided to hold a competition between their respective Club Champions for the unofficial Champions of the World. The first Intercontinental Cup was held in 1960 over two legs with Real Madrid beating Peñarol 5-1 on aggregate.
The format remained unchanged until 1980 when it was decided to hold a one-off match in Tokyo, Japan and later in Yokohama, Japan until 2004, which was the last time the Intercontinental Cup was held
Meanwhile, the first FIFA Club World Cup which featured the Club Champions from the Six Regional FIFA Blocks (UEFA: Europe, CAF: Africa: AFC Asia, Oceania, CONMEBOL: North & Central America & Caribbean and CONMEBOL: South America) plus a Club from the Host Nation was held in Brazil in 2000 with Corinthians beating Vasco da Gama in the Final match on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Due to financial troubles, the FIFA Club World Cup was not held from 2001 to 2004 but was held in Japan in 2005 and for the next three years thereafter.
The United Arab Emirates hosted the next two tournaments in 2009 & 2010 with the competition returning to Japan for 2011 & 2012. Morocco played hosts for the next two years before it once again went to Japan for 2015 & 2016.
The 2017 & 2018 Club World Cups were held in the United Arab Emirates with 2022 FIFA World Cup host Nation Qatar awarded the 2019 & 2020 tournaments.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino plans to expand the Club World Cup in 2021. The new tournament would be held every four years instead of annually, would feature 24 teams and 31 matches. It would include all UEFA Champions League winners, UEFA Champions League runners-up, Europa League winners and Copa Libertadores winners from the four seasons up to and including the year of the event, with the remainder qualifying from the other four confederations.
Throughout the entire history of the competition, only Clubs from South America and Europe have won the competition with the Order of Merit reading 32 wins for Europe by 18 different Clubs and 26 wins for South America by 16 different Clubs.